Taking steps to ensure that your investments deliver a healthy return

Investing is something that many people would like to get started with, but shy away from due to feelings of nerves. Often, the main off-putting factor is that there’s no guarantee of a good return – and, of course, this is true to some extent. In the world of investing, very few things are ever predictable or guaranteed. However, there are some ways to improve your chances of success. From doing your research and monitoring the market to opting for diversified, balanced portfolio types, you can increase the odds that your investments will work out in your favour.

Diversify your portfolio

The first way to preserve your returns when investing is to diversify your portfolio as much as possible. Diversification essentially means spreading your investment capital around as many different vehicles and asset classes as possible. As an example, you may decide to focus 20% of your portfolio on cryptocurrencies, 50% on equities and the remaining 30% on property. If one of the classes to which you are exposed declines in value while others rise, then you won’t lose everything – and the impact on your return will hopefully be small.

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Creating that perfect start-up – Where do I get my funding from?

When you’re starting out on a new business venture, it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, how fantastic your idea is; creating a business requires a huge amount of hard work. It can be an exciting process, however, there are lots of things that can go wrong but the potential benefits are huge. Getting your business going and having it succeed is not easy and requires a healthy amount of funding, which must then be spent in the correct way. So, what can you do to get off to the best possible start?

Planning and then planning more is essential, cash is king and if you don’t have a healthy flow throughout the business, it will only end in trouble. Cash is the lifeblood of any business, ensuring that you plan and save, can potentially keep you out of trouble. When it comes to funding and aiding cash flow, there are some effective tasks which you can put into place to ease things along.

Whether you’re starting a new business or are already running one, having a reliable trustworthy accountant can be hugely beneficial for the business. They can offer advice on what sort of organisation your business needs to be (a sole trader, partnership or limited company) and provide good advice about taxation. Accountants can also relieve some of the workload on a business especially if you are a relatively new entity. Your accountant can also do all the necessary book keeping for certain records and tell you the correct places where your company needs to be registered. This can allow business owners to focus on their usual job and day to day running of the business.

But where can you get start-up funds from?

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How to choose the right credit card

How do you use your credit card?

If you always pay your credit card bills in full each month you could choose a cashback credit card that gives you back a percentage of everything you spend. With a balance transfer credit card you could transfer a credit card debt and pay no interest for more than a year. Alternatively, if you regularly borrow on your card you should look for the lowest rate. Here we explain how to choose the right card.

Cashback and points credit cards

You should only look at the benefits credit cards give like cashback, points or AirMiles if you always pay your credit card bills in full and as a result don’t pay any interest on your borrowing.

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7 Deadly Property Investment Mistakes to Avoid

Property investment is a lucrative way to save for the future and make the most of your finances. Many people consider property investment and unfortunately many people make mistakes. We’ve highlighted seven common mistakes that property investors can make and how you can avoid them.

  • Lack of Planning

The Benjamin Franklin quote is something like ‘If you Fail to Plan, You are Planning to Fail’. When it comes to property investment, having a clear plan and strategy is vital. Many short-sighted investors are caught out by a lack of clear goals and a strategic plan. Property investment is a long-term game, with the greatest payoffs often years, even decades after the initial investment. Being methodical, writing down your plan and setting realistic goals and targets are vital skills for property investors.

  • Emotional Attachment

Unwise investors are often far too emotionally attached to their property. Investment is a strategy to provide financial security for your future and a clear head and analytic mind are essential. Getting emotionally attached to your investments can make it harder to be objective, harder to sell and harder to make decisions about. Being realistic and detached can allow you to make better decisions and avoid this mistake.

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The beginners guide to share trading

You may have heard a lot over the years about share trading, and perhaps even heard a story or two about people who have made a significant amount of money through the stock market. While share trading is hard work, and not to be entered into without doing your preparation, it can be lucrative for those with the right skills and qualities.

Before you take the plunge, it’s a good idea to understand the basics, or to refresh your understanding with this brief beginners guide to shares.

What is a share?

A share is effectively a piece of a company. When you buy a share, you are buying a part of that company, and that share has a monetary value. As a shareholder you also become entitled to a say in how the company is run, through voting at their Annual General Meeting, and you may from time to time receive a payment from the company called a dividend, which is paid out to all shareholders as a form of profit sharing.

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Run a small business? Here’s how you can cut costs

The small business sector in the UK has an annual turnover of almost £2tn – yet despite that, it’s almost certain that each and every firm in this industry has had to think about costs at one stage or another. From the price of paying staff to the fees levied on all kinds of business transactions, spending money seems impossible to avoid. Luckily, there are ways out of the cash black hole – and these are just some of them.

Do it yourself

When a small business owner first starts out, the risks can feel so overwhelming that it seems like the right thing to do to outsource lots of new and confusing tasks. Marketing, for example, can seem like a tough nut to crack, especially if you’re not very digitally savvy or keen to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms – so it makes sense to pay a professional to do this for you.

However, if you’re looking to cut costs, then this sort of outsourcing is often the first port of call. It’s possible to learn how to do tasks such as marketing yourself, while it’s also easy to pick up skills such as basic repairs in your premises. Perhaps the only “must-have” professional is an accountant, especially if you’re a limited company: the risks involved with getting your tax return or document filing process wrong are too great to ignore.

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Why it is better to borrow from family and friends

If you are short of money and are looking at taking out a loan, there are many different options to choose from. One of these options, includes turning to friends or family members for a loan as an alternative to applying for short term loans or going to your local bank. Whilst asking friends and family for money is not something everyone feels comfortable with, it can certainly have its advantages over other options available, should you choose to ask. We take a look at some of the main benefits below.

Not regulated

Borrowing between friends and family is not regulated by the FCA. It is not necessarily recorded anywhere, is between parties and is not backed up by any eligibility checks and therefore does not count as regulated activity. This certainly appeals to those who might have been turned down by traditional and mainstream lenders and are looking for a flexible solution.

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